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Step 1
Your Domain Name

  • What is a domain name?

  • How do I pick a good domain name?

  • Is the name I want available?

  • If so, register it NOW!

If you're going to have a web site... any kind of web site,
 you going to need a domain name.

What is a domain name?  If you're thinking about a web site, you are more than likely familiar with domain names.  They are the public reference to each and every web site.  Each one is unique, and each one is a form of short hand that points to where a web site is located in the digital world.  Without digging too deeply into the hyper-tech of all this just realize that the Internet... the World Wide Web... the net... whatever you call it, uses IP (Internet Protocol) as the foundation of its communication.  Each public connection on the internet is identified by a unique public IP address.  It's a number... actually a set of numbers that might look like 72.21.203.3.  A domain name is simply an easy to remember abbreviation of that address that accomplishes two things.  First... you don't have to remember a bunch of long complicated numbers to reach your favorite websites.  Secondly, that IP address can change from time to time for a variety of reasons but the use of a domain name will still get you where you need to go.  So in this example, instead of trying to remember the number 72.21.203.3  to reach www.amazon.com, you just have to remember amazon.com.  Amazon.com is the domain name. You need to decide on a domain name for your web site so that your intended audience can find you among the millions of IP addresses that make up the Internet.  And because it is such a crowded neighborhood, you need to give some thought to what you will use as your address on this vast landscape.  You need to pick a good domain name.  If you've already got one in mind, click here to get it registered, otherwise read on. 
How do I pick a good domain name? Here are a few basic guidelines as you think about the domain name you want to use for your venture in to the world wide web.
  • Your domain name should be easy to remember.
  • Hopefully the domain name implies the content or purpose of your website
  • Make sure your domain name doesn't infringe on the rights and trademarks of others.
  • Ideally the name will be unique enough so that competing products or services can't use a similar name to snag away customers that should be getting to your site.
  • Try not to let the name get too long.
  • Think about search engines as you pick your name
  • Consider registering multiple names that will all point to the same place.

With so many websites already populating the Internet, locking on to the ideal name may be difficult, but give the process some prompt but serious thought.  At the same time, you also have to think about the second part of the domain name.   It's called the TLD or or Top Level Domain.  As we've seen, a domain name consists of text, called labels, that are seperated by dots.  In our example of www.amazon.com, the "com" portion of the domain name is the TLD.  Back in the 1980's when the World Wide Web (www) was getting off the ground, those governing things at the time established seven TLDs:  com, edu, gov, int, mil, net, and org.  The com, net and org TLDs were pretty much fair game, but the others were only useable by specific entities.  As the internet grew, more TLDs have been added, and undoubtedly more will continue to be added.  For a complete list of TLDs, you can click here, but for the purposes of getting your website up and running stick with com, net or org.  And within that framework, use these general guidelines:

Originally, the com TLD was for business, the net TLD was for entities providing Internet services and the org TLD was intended to serve the non-commercial community, but anyone can register in all three of these TLDs.  In reality, com is the most desirable TLD whether or not you're doing business on the web or just speaking your mind, sharing pictures or whatever.  If you can't find the domain name you want in the com TLD, opt for the net TLD as a second choice.  If neither of those are available, then try for a org TLD name.  Of course, this recommendation is subject to revision based on what your primary purpose will be on the web.  If, in fact, you are a non-commercial organization, opt for an  org domain name as your first choice.  But also remember that many people might be searching for you under a com TLD even if you are not a commercial venture.  If the primary purpose of your site will be to provide some sort of Internet related service, the net TLD might be a good choice, but again, many will be looking for you under the com TLD.  Ideally, you may want to register your name under all three TLDs if they are available.  The Web Kings cost of domain names is so reasonable that this tactic can easily be employed. 

Is the name I want available?  The Web Kings provides a very easy way to find out if the name you are after is available and even let's you find out who has owns if it isn't available.  Once you are fairly comfortable with the general idea you want to use for your domain name... that is your web site address, start checking immediately to see if it is available.  Go to our domain name search page and enter the domain name you have decided on and select the TLD from the list drop down list.  Be sure you check your name for proper spelling before you begin the process!!
Register your domain names NOW!  You might have to do a little adjusting of your initial domain name ideas as you start checking availability, but once you hit on something close, grab it before it's gone!  Domain names are being registered at an unbelievable rate.  And give some serious consideration for registering several names at once, either the same name in several of the TLDs or similar names that will all point to the same web site.  Then once you have your domain name, it's time to start designing your web site.   
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